FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox GM Ben Cherington offered thoughts on a number of topics at JetBlue Park following the Sox’ full workout today. Among them:
– With Jacoby Ellsbury entering his final season before he becomes eligible for free agency, Cherington suggested that he doesn’t have any concerns that his uncertain contract status will become an issue for the player or team.
“I really don’t see it as a distraction at all. He’s a very routine-oriented, regimented player who takes care of himself, has always done that, obviously talented, knows what he needs to do to get ready for a season. And he’s got a lot to play for,” said Cherington. “He’s missed time two of the last three seasons because of traumatic, on-field injuries. You can’t fault him for that. Obviously we know how good he was when he was healthy in 2011. I just think he’s really excited to feel good, motivated to play this year. I don’t think he’s distracted at all.”
– The Red Sox medical staff has come under recent scrutiny, with an ESPNBoston.com report describing “open warfare” between factions of the team’s medical staff in recent years. However, Cherington noted that the team has spent the last two offseasons restructuring its medical staff and parting ways with some of the individuals (former team medical director Dr. Thomas Gill, former team trainer Mike Reinold) who have been at the heart of those controversies.
“As everyone knows, we’ve gone through quite a bit of change the last two years. We really had a two-year process of reorganizing the medical staff. This offseason was Year Two of two years,” said Cherington. “It was all done with the intent of putting not just the most talented group together, but a group that would work together seamlessly, put the players first and earn the players’ trust and develop credibility with the players. There’s a number of changes that have happened toward that goal. The irony is that if things are going well in that area, we’re not talking about it nearly as much as we have, and you’re not hearing from the medical staff. That’s our hope going forward, that we’re hearing from the guys in uniform a lot more and the guys in the training room less. That’s our expectation. Everything that I’ve seen, these stories that have been out there, they’re really about things that happened in the past and not things going on right now. Our focus is right now.”
Cherington said that while there’s been some discussion of employing Reinold in some capacity (likely as a consultant), there is no such agreement in place right now.
– Though Cherington said that Mike Napoli and David Ortiz might not be playing in the first games of the spring training season, he suggested that the outlook for both sluggers is promising. An MRI on Thursday showed that Napoli’s hips have not deteriorated since he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis. As such, he’s been cleared for an increase in activity. Cherington said that Ortiz is “in great shape,” noting that he’s taking some ground balls at first base in addition to hitting. That, suggested Cherington, bodes well for his availability at the start of the regular season.
“We’re probably going to play cautious a little bit with both guys,” said Cherington. “We’ve got a fair amount of time in camp. We’re much more concerned about the 162-game schedule than we are the spring training schedule.”
– Asked about the recent suggestion by Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford that the environment around the Sox was “toxic,” and former Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez‘s claim that the organization was hindered by communications issues at the management level, Cherington felt little need to offer a rebuttal.
“We made a trade last year as everyone knows. It was a trade we felt made sense for the team at the time,” he said. “It was not about the players involved, in terms of any issues we had with them. Nick Punto, Josh Beckett, along with Adrian and Carl, good guys, talented players, certainly some of those guys had done a lot for the Red Sox over a long period of time. At the time, I said I wish them well, and I still wish them well. Again, we’re focused on the guys we have here now.”
– While the idea of carrying 13 pitchers to open the season is a possibility, Cherington stated a clear preference to go with 12, especially given that Ortiz is a full-time DH who offers little positional depth.
Patriots Safety Devin McCourty joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and talked about covering the Steelers Wide Receivers, and how he's helping the players who are in the AFC Championship for the first time prepare.
ProFootball Talk's Mike Florio told Glenn, Lou, and Christian that the Patriots have a quiet confidence that they can outscore the Steelers, since they've proven they have the ability.
Holley and Keefe check in with NFL Network's Heath Evans for some final thoughts on the Houston win and to look ahead at the Steelers in the AFC Championship.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour two of Saturday Skate as Ken Laird and Rear Admiral kick around the perception of backup goalie Anton Khudobin, B's coach Claude Julien, and possible trade target Gabriel Landeskog.
"D-Wood" Joins the show to talk Brady vs. Rodgers and predicts a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl.
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.
Hour 3. Ben Volin shares a stat about Trump that will blow your mind. Mut wouldn't answer any questions about Trump's alleged sexual assaults.
Old Friend Tim Benz joins OMF, and while they regale tales of dysfunction, Benz manages to predict that the Patriots will win Sunday.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian enjoy the festivities ahead of the Inauguration, and give their predictions for Patriots-Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian love how Bill Belichick reacts to the plethora of stupid questions he receives from the Media during his Press Conferences.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe spend the day discussing the AFC Championship.
We close out the work week with the best sound clips of the day.
We check in with hall of famer Michael Irvin to find out what happened to his Dallas Cowboys and look at the remaining playoff match-ups.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the Thursday K&C show featuring Jon Meterparel back in the saddle.
Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.More from this show
Alex's personal life comes up on the show.More from this show
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.More from this show
Fauria couldn't help himself and called into Pittsburgh sports radio to show off his (terrible) Boston accent and to troll Steelers fans. Later on, Josh Miller (co-host and former Patriots punter) calls us to trash talk to Christian.More from this show
Hour 2. Mark Madden hates Dino and the show. Headlines with Kirk.More from this show